Bourne 5, aka the upcoming and currently untitled fifth Bourne movie franchise installment, will pick up in 'real-time' with Jason Bourne (Matt Damon), who has stayed off the grid since the events of The Bourne Ultimatum - which, lest we forget, overlaps with the storyline from Bourne Supremacy, back in 2004. The world has gone through some important changes since then and Damon, who co-wrote the Bourne 5 script with returning director Paul Greengrass, says those developments shall provide the plot substance for this new film.
That isn't to say that life in what Damon has dubbed the "post-Snowden" real world and the Bourne universe alike is anything to write home about. On the contrary, after the government cover-ups that were depicted in the 2012 "side-quel" The Bourne Legacy (starring Jeremy Renner as Aaron Cross) and everything else that's happened since then, it sounds as though Bourne's life has only grown more, not less, complicated.
Here is what Damon told EW about what has happened in the world and where Jason Bourne is at emotionally when Bourne 5 picks up - followed by the first official image from the film, showing Bourne looking appropriately broody and hardened by time.
“There’s been the financial collapse, the great recession, all these issues of cyberwarfare and civil liberties... We find [Jason Bourne] in a dark and tortured place.”
Damon and Greengrass' storyline for Bourne 5 remains by and large under-wraps, but the implication is that some turn of events forces Bourne to confront his past (again) - which explains how CIA agent Nicky Parsons (Julia Stiles) re-enters the picture, for example. Meanwhile, EW reports that among the Bourne franchise newcomers in Bourne 5 will be Tommy Lee Jones (the Men in Black trilogy) playing a seasoned CIA agent, along with Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl) playing a cyberspecialist. Meanwhile, Vincent Cassel's (Trance) role isn't specified, but it's rumored that he's playing a black ops agent in the movie - one who goes hunting for Bourne, at that.
While some of these general elements for Bourne 5 seem to have been recycled from past installments in the Bourne film series, Damon and Greengrass' decision to use intriguing real-world developments as their inspiration should only help them to craft another captivating narrative featuring the amnesiac ex-government assassin on the big screen. Damon's involvement on both sides of the camera for the project also bodes well - seeing as he is an Oscar-winning screenwriter, after all.
Plus, if all goes well, then who knows - we may yet get that Jason Bourne/Aaron Cross team-up that many fans want to see after Bourne 5, too. If not, well, then this might be the last we see of Bourne and his fellow agents (or, in Bourne's case, ex-agent) for some time...
Bourne 5 opens in U.S. theaters on July 29th, 2016.